PURI: During his upcoming visit to the State, President Ram Nath Kovind is likely to stay at the Special Circuit House here as the Raj Bhavan in Puri has been declared unsafe by the Works department. The Raj Bhavan here was constructed in 1913. Spread over more than 10 acres, the property is close to the sea beach. It has facilities for housing security and ministerial offices. The State administration was running its offices here from this building.
It has now become a heritage site. Governors of Bihar, Bengal and Odisha during the British era used to stay here. After Independence, the President of the country used this facility during their visit to Odisha.
President Kovind is scheduled to visit Puri on Saturday evening. Ahead of the visit, a high-level meeting was convened by District Magistrate Arabind Agarwal and Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi on Monday. The change of venue for the President’s stay was decided at this meeting after the Executive Engineer informed them about Raj Bhavan’s safety issues.
The Circuit House complex will be remain reserved from March 15 for the President, other staffers and security personnel. This apart, the stretch between Acharya Harihar and Netaji Square will remain closed for public. The road passes through Raj Bhavan and Special Circuit House. Engineers of Works department have been pressed into service for arranging basic facilities at the Circuit House.
The President will visit Jagannath temple to offer prayer. The temple chief administrator organised a meeting of the servitors concerned to streamline rituals to facilitate the President’s ‘darshan’ of the deities. His family priest has been instructed to guide him in the temple.
Later, the President will attend the centenary celebration of Sadashiva Kendriya Sanskruta Sansthan. He will felicitate nine Sanskrit scholars for their contribution towards enrichment and popularisation of the language. Governor S C Jamir, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Jual Oram and Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb will also attend the event.
The Sansthan is giving facelift to its education complex to welcome the President. Its 2,500 students and teaching staff are working round-the-clock for the successful conduct of the event. This will be Kovind’s first visit to Puri after becoming the President.